Employers often find themselves treading in deep waters when it comes to sexual harassment, which for the most part falls under discrimination.
Furthermore, Title 8, the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) is applicable to every New York City business with four or more employees and is more restrictive and detailed than many other state or federal anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, a federal law that applies to employers with a workforce of 15 or more.
According to sexual harassment lawyers and some of the most impressive ones can be found here: http://employment-law.usattorneys.com/, several court rulings have had an impact on the way courts view subsequent sexual harassment lawsuits after they have become case law. In one case heard by the New York Court of Appeals in 2010, the appellate court’s interpretation of the NYCHRL supplanted the affirmative defense commonly used by employers in such lawsuits.
Employers were able to avoid liability if employees did not take advantage of preventive opportunities provided by the employer. In the case of Zakrzewska vs. The New School, the court observed that employers were liable irrespective of whether the employee reported the incident of sexual harassment to the employer or not. This is one of the rulings that tightened sexual harassment laws for employers. Therefore, small and midsized business owners ought to consider consulting an experienced lawyer about their extent of liability.
Quid Pro Quo
Sexual harassment law is vast and complex, and is a part of Civil Rights Law, Employment Discrimination Law, and may also lead to a personal injury lawsuit. Sexual harassment is for the most part described as the unsolicited physical advances of a sexual nature by an individual. This includes acts such as touching, groping, and passing sexually offensive comments.
According to sexual harassment attorneys, there are two broad categories of sexual harassment. Quid Pro Quo is the obvious form that refers to sexual favors being demanded of a subordinate by their boss or anyone in position of power in return for a promotion or any other favor such as not to terminate the employee who has been subjected to harassment.
The other category is hostile environment, which is most common in sexual harassment cases but is very difficult to prove. In such a scenario, an employee is exposed to unwanted sexual advances and is the target of sexual talk, jokes, and is forced to see pornographic images, thereby making the employee uncomfortable at work. In such an environment there is no direct threat to the employee’s employment and is therefore more difficult to prove.
But this should have to be tolerated by anyone and you do not have to be a fabulous and intense sexual harassment lawyer to know this.
The role of the EEOC
The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) is responsible for establishing guidelines in accordance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Employees can approach the EEOC to file a claim seeking remedies for lost wages, punitive damages, injunctive relief, reinstatement of employment, to stop the alleged offender from sexually harassing the employee further, and to ensure that the employer implements a sexual harassment policy that will prevent such instances and protect employees in the future.